Will Smith described the « horrific night » at the 2022 Oscars when he struck Chris Rock in the face with emotion.
The 54-year-old « King Richard » actor acknowledged he had « anger » bottled up for a long time during his first late-night television interview since the incident that made headlines in March.
You can imagine what a horrible night that was. You know, it has many intricacies and nuances, » he said to Trevor Noah on « The Daily Show » on Monday.
« But at the end, you know, I just, I lost it. And I suppose I would add that you simply can’t know what someone is going through. You are sitting next to strangers in the audience right now, and someone’s mother passed away last week, someone else’s child is ill, someone just lost their job, and someone just learned their husband had an affair, Smith continued.
« You simply have no idea what others are going through. Additionally, I was experiencing something that evening. Not that it in any way excuses my actions.
The star of « Fresh Prince of Bel-Air » admitted that when Rock, 57, made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, resentment « bubbled up » inside of him. (The actor’s girlfriend has alopecia.)
« There were numerous things. It was the young child who saw his father physically abuse his mother. All of that just came to the surface at that time, » Smith added.
« I departed. That wrath had been suppressed for a very long time. I do not want to be that person.
The Academy Award winner also started crying as he thought back to when his nephew, age 9, had inquired about the incident.
He is the loveliest youngster. He had stayed up late to see his uncle Will when we got home, and now we’re sitting in my kitchen with him on my lap clutching the Oscar and him asking, « Why did you hit that man, uncle Will? » he recalled.
« Bad Boys, » actor Smith said, « Hurt people hurt people, » in response to Noah’s 38-year-old question about what he had learned from the contentious incident.
You inquired as to what he had learned, and he replied, « We simply had to be nice to each other, man. »
The thing that hurt me the most, I suppose, was how I took my difficulty and made it difficult for others.
Smith said he had to forgive himself « for being human » despite not apologizing to Rock in person at the awards ceremony but doing so in a social media video in July.